…Director says as oil company builds base in GuyanaExxonMobil believes that the Extractive Transparency Initiative (EITI) would alleviate the suspicions that currently exist among Guyanese about its operations.Exxon’s Public and Government Affairs Director, Kimberly Brasington, believes that transparency is “critical” as the company builds a base here in Guyana.ExxonMobil’s Director of Public and Government Affairs, Kimberly BrasingtonExxon, in partnership with Hess Corp and CNOOC Nexen, is currently developing the Liza field in the Stabroek Block located approximately 190 kilometres offshore Guyana. Since its first oil find in 2015 here, Exxon has made four other discoveries.First-phase development at the Liza field is well underway for production of first oil in 2020. However, there has been much speculation and criticism of Exxon’s operations in the public sphere.Brasington said the company welcomed “hard questions” since they lead to dialogue. Although she is sympathetic to the calls for transparency by the public, Brasington notes the company does not “disclose our commercial competitive contracts”.This is where the EITI provides answers to citizens, Brasington reasoned during an interview with the Department of Public Information.Exxon is a founder of the EITI process, which requires all extractive industries – oil, mining, and forestry – to disclose monies they pay to Governments. Likewise, the individual government discloses monies received and an independent third party evaluates and validates the information and publishes it.“So, it (EITI) is a mechanism to account for and hold accountable both parties to the money. I think that is hugely important and we are committed to doing that. I do believe that we need to find the right balance in providing transparency that allows people comfort and not putting ExxonMobil at a competitive disadvantage,” Brasington said.In August, Guyana submitted its application for candidacy in EITI. “The EITI process is the underlying or undergirding principle in resources of a state which belongs to the people, and, therefore, the incomes earned must be accounted for and spent in accordance with both the people’s wishes,” Minister Trotman noted in August.It is expected that the application will be accepted at the EITI Conference scheduled for October.Meanwhile, Brasington said Exxon would not shy away from providing information to the public to dispel misconceptions about the industry.“The nature of the industry is a long-term industry and we’re going to be here for a decade. Transparency is critical and ExxonMobil supports transparency,” Brasington said.